Posts Tagged Peter Kenneth

A baptism of fire for Peter Kenneth

Politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith
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Peter Kenneth, the guy Miguna Miguna says he’d put in charge of beauty contests in the county, is a funny guy; either that or very naive, or both. He’s written a formal letter complaining that Nairobi Governor nominations aren’t free and fair, hahaha….

So this man gets into a contest for arguably the most lucrative job in Kenya (besides the presidency) with two of the most battle hardened, crude, unscrupulous, and recalcitrant Jubilee mandarins in Nairobi and then he expects it will be a clean fight? What is this guy smoking? He thought nominations in Nairobi would be a smooth affair like chomping on an aromatic Habanos Cohiba cigar while lounging on the terrace of his mansion in Runda as a flute of Chateau Margaux wine percolates on his quartz topped table? What a joke.

This is Kenya, and Nairobi is the capital city that’s inhabited by the toughest of the lot: the status quo operatives, the pharmacists without chemists, and the wheeler dealer tenderpreneurs that supply air to the City Council, they run this joint. There’s no Madam Head of Civil Service to hold anyone’s hand here, bedroom bully credentials won’t count, you’re on your own. This is a fight to the death and rules don’t apply. This is Sonko and Doctor Bishop territory, straight out of MKU and St. Paul’s Universities with two year degrees without ever attending class; this is jailbird space and your opponents have already earned their stripes, with Mike having already done time at (and escaped from) Shimo La Tewa, and Doctor Bishop cooling her heels at Parklands Police Station cells as we speak. This is blue-collar roll up your sleeves and pop your collar work, it requires people that have lived by their wit and balls before and amassed wealth by taking food out of the mouths of babies by either the sword or the word; white collar stroke of the pen chicanery like the sort that brought Kenya Reinsurance to its knees won’t work here.

You’re in the throes of the very contest that made Baba Yao throw his hands up in exasperation and decide he’s better off retreating to face Don Kabogo in Kiambu. You’ve been thrown into the pits of the coliseum my friend, and there’s no escape, you’ll just have to grapple with these baby powder producing and “the seed” eating street fighters.

Like Johnny Vigeti of Kalamashaka rhymed in Punchline Kibao
“Zinedine Zidane, starting line up ya Real Madrid na hiyo inamaanisha huku hutoboi kudai number
Plus striker wao ashachoka, ako hoi anadai sub- ha!
Ni mambo na ku-mark territory, kwa hivyo ma-doggy za mitaa zingine hazikojoi mitaani hapa
Kuifanya iwe ngumu kwa huyu jamaa wa yoh-yoh ku-buy manga”

Besides, I’d have thought having been in Starch and all that, PK must have heard of the George Bernard Shaw quote

“I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

Welcome to Nairobbery Muthungu wa Gatanga, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere

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Unanswered Questions: Why I find it hard to simply board the PK bandwagon

One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician’s objective. Election and power are.
Cal Thomas

I’m not about to just join the Peter Kenneth hype train and here’s why:
1. I’m not buying that: “supporting PK is a move away from tribal politics” claptrap. Just because PK is biracial and has no indigenous sounding name doesn’t mean he has no tribal roots; otherwise then why would he have represented only Gatanga and not anywhere else? If we really want to move away from tribe how about a minority like a Njemp or even a Shakeel. In fact it might seem like a good idea now to be “Kenneth” but let PK look around and he’ll notice Esther Passaris was forced to use “Muthoni” (and I understand Shebesh is also going the same route calling herself Wambui), to try and connect with a “core” constituency that doesn’t appreciate abstract association. Let the self-appointed social media aficionados in Kenya fool PK that resonating with their deceptive online personas counts for much, but I can tell him for free it does not.
2. I want to know what PK is worth. It is not clear to me how he made his money, money which seems to be of a quantity not to be sneezed at if running a secretariat, constant TV ads and two helicopters is anything to go by. If this money is being given to him by some wealthy benefactors then I would like to know what interest they have in him winning the presidency; the wealthy do not get wealthy by giving away free money.
3. I am very interested in knowing what happened at Kenya Re and in fact the means by which PK came to be at its helm, and what difference this made to the corporations value in comparison to PK’s wealth when he walked away from the smouldering ruins.
4. I want to understand what kind of relationship PK had with a certain former Head of the Civil Service and what was in it for both, especially considering their age difference. You see many years ago, while loitering the roads of my boondocks, I happened to see PK personally driving his grey 4.6HSE in the direction of the Civil head’s home, and that was way before he was MP and I only recognized him due to his role at KFF.
5. Speaking of KFF, where were PK’s fabled management skills during his tenure there? Looking far far back I only see that complete ineptitude has been the hallmark of Kenyan football management since siku za jadi, so much so that our KPL was recently voted the worst league on earth.
6. Then regarding the agitation for multi-party democracy: Where was PK when the bearded sisters, young turks, Wangari Maathai, Muites, Raila, Imanyara, Shikuku, Matiba, Rubia, Jaramogi, Karua, Orengo, Muliro, etc were fighting against the one party KANU regime? This absence alone makes me find it hard to stomach the likes of Kalonzo, Ruto and Jirongo who were in bed with KANU while the protagonists of the second liberation dug in in the trenches and fox holes facing the brutal ancien regime. How will PK own a liberation he was absent from and perhaps cowered from supporting?
7. Managing a CDF fund well, while a good thing, hardly begins to scratch the surface when it comes to executive power as wielded by a president. In fact does managing a CDF exceptionally prove one’s credentials to manage an entire country? a position that calls for more than initiating cattle dip programmes etc and forces one to dive into the deep end of such matters like: dealing with internal security matters like the Baragoi rustlers, Mt. Elgon secessionists, Al Shabab, External threats, international criminals, cartels, exploitative powerful countries, terrorism, a tanking global economy and its attendant issues, a budget that doesn’t match the revenue from an already overtaxed populations, a growing poor majority ravaged with disease, hunger and illiteracy? a position that along with the power of being commander in chief makes one the de facto chief negotiator, thick skinned scapegoat, whipping boy, model parent, and the first responder to the ubiquitous and uncongenial cliché “Naomba serikali”?…

Remember that: “If a politician isn’t doing it to his wife , then he’s doing it to his country.”

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Meet the 2013 candidates, same as the 2007 candidates, sons of the 1963 candidates

In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill… we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one. – Plato

Kenyans can guarantee you of two things: the memory of a warthog, and kufuata bendera kama upepo. After the smoke settles in about a weeks time, no one will remember Peter Kenneth’s pitch, a few superficial girls might still have Andrew’s photo as their avatar but that will be it, Kenneth will fade away as have many others before him.

We can run around mouthing our progressive credentials but deep down we are beholden to tribe and dynastic moneyed families; this race, whether we want to admit it or not, is going to be decided between Jaramogi’s son and Kenyatta’s son, other influential cast members will be Moses Mudavadi’s scion, Wamalwa’s brother, and Moi’s adoptive KANU boys Ruto and Kalonzo. Everyone else is wasting their time.

The middle class might identify with Tuju, or Kenneth, or Karua, but unfortunately they have no say in who gets elected, they are just a snobbish minority that a crafty politician pays no heed to, that’s why Sonko and Waititu usually beat to a pulp and then wipe the floor with the likes of Mbaru and Passaris; the real votes, the numbers, are in Kayole, Mathare, Mukuru, Dandora, etc not in South C, or Lang’ata, or Parklands, or Westy.

Voters in slums and hovels do not care for nor identify with Kenneth’s crisp shirts or his scion’s pretty boy swag. They however identify with Waititu being dragged to filthy police cells after having joined them in physically assaulting a wealthy land grabber; they identify with Sonko’s non-conformist attitude and shabby dressing. They also remember who Moses, Jaramogi and Jomo were; they assume their sons are natural born leaders (even though one, even maybe two, of them never held a job in their life)

That is the sad truth my countrymen

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